Bollywood Fashion: Favourite looks from Yash Chopra films

Bollywood Fashion: Favourite looks from Yash Chopra films

Yash Chopra (RIP) made the biggest blockbusters over the past five decades, writing unforgettable dialogues, creating iconic characters and teaching us how to fall in love and how to avenge.

And somehow, his films re-wrote fashion too, sparking new trends, keeping women and their darzis quite busy. Here are my favourite looks from films directed by Yash Chopra.

Chandni

A rainy day. A girl in love, looking sensual in a chiffon sari (never mind the weather). This sari later evolved into a shaded one, worn with sleeveless blouses on the snow-clad Swiss Alps.

Sridevi in Chandni

(Picture courtesy: Yashraj Films)

Silsila

Rekha’s flowing hair, dark maroon lips, soulful thickly lined eyes– mesmerizing even today!

Rekha in Silsila

Deewar and Trishul

There were some serious business suits in Yash Chopra’s gripping dramas, comprising Sanjeev Kumar’s waistcoats in Trishul and Amitabh Bachchan’s bell bottoms in Deewar and Trishul. Fine tailoring, power dressing redefined!

Trishul

Veer Zaara

Manish Malhotra’s chikankari work gained popularity with Preity Zinta’s coloured dupattas and semi-patialas. Soon after the movie’s release, every cloth market in India had its own collection of “Veer Zaara suits”.

Veer Zaara

(Picture courtesy: Yashraj Films)

Dil to Pagal Hai

Skinny Karisma Kapoor wore hot shorts and sparked the superfit craze among women so they could flaunt their legs and abs. Madhuri Dixits’s sheer long kurtas worn over short choli-style blouses drove thousands of women to their tailors. (I was too young at the time, but I wanted to dress like Madhuri too!). Now that I’m grown up, I want to wear chiffon saris instead. (Check out the song in the video after the jump- you’ll know what I’m talking about).

dil to pagal hai

(Picture courtesy: Yashraj Films)

 

WIFW S/S 2013: Day 1 Recap

WIFW S/S 2013: Day 1 Recap

Atsu Sekhose
With crisp whites and vivid prints, Atsu’s collection had immensely wearable separates.

WIFW SS13 Atsu

WIFW SS13 Atsu

Geisha Designs
The “Edwardian” theme was a tad confusing- the mini capsules ended up being a mixed bag of looks. Though there some gorgeous rich pieces in gold, the theatricality of some gowns tended to be jarring.

WIFW SS13 Geisha Designs

WIFW SS13 Geisha Designs

Anand Kabra
Lime green with gold is a wonderful summer combination, and the mosaic prints would look great on skirts, pants and kurtas. The Indian wear is ot too festive, but can be a good summer wear for elegant ladies who wear saris casually.

WIFW SS13 Anand Kabra

WIFW SS13 Anand Kabra

Kiran Uttam Ghosh
Playing with sheer and opaque is not new, but Kiran Uttam Ghosh’s approach to this “trend” is fresh. She used asymmetricality, neat embellishments, layering and multi-cultural influences to create wearable artful garments (plenty of geometric shapes). I spotted a couple of outfits I’d like to own!

WIFW SS13 Kiran Uttam Ghosh

WIFW SS13 Kiran Uttam Ghosh

Payal Pratap
Payal Pratap’s collection has the usual Indo fusion elements, though it makes up for the theme with the detailing- like cross stitch and minute geometric embroidery. The gypsy gilets are quirky wardrobe updates!

WIFW SS13 Payal Pratap

WIFW SS13 Payal Pratap

Surily
Aztec prints have been on the international ramps since the past few seasons, so Surily’s Aztec and geometric patterns did not seem edgy or fresh though they are quite wearable. Fringes and flirty elements are part of the Surily brand, along with the pop colour palette (fluorescent yellows, tangerine and pinks).

WIFW SS13 Surily

WIFW SS13 Surily

Wendell Rodricks
I got a feeling of deja vu on seeing Wendell Rodricks’ SS13 collection. Despite the repetitive moments, there were several pieces that made the collection worth a peek- especially from the Malacca-inspired part of the collection. The lungis, long tunics, colours and texture mix (linen + sequins + satin silk) make for very cool summer pieces.

WIFW SS13 Wendell Rodricks

WIFW SS13 Wendell Rodricks

Dutch Fashion Here & Now India
The show was a cross-culture, cross-country fashion collaboration between Indian and Dutch fashion designers (Suneet Varma with couturier Jan Taminiau and Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna of CUE with *DIED* ), along with several fashion and cultural reps from the two countries (for makeup, music, photography) The show was theatrical, dramatic and almost couture-like.   I especially loved the “darkness” of *DIED* (by iederik Verbakel and Marieke Holthuis).

WIFW SS13 Dutch Fashion

WIFW SS13 Dutch fashion

Accessories of the day
Jalli bangles at Payal Pratap, hair accessories at Geisha Designs, block heels at Anand Kabra (AKA Bespoke for Anand Kabra).

WIFW SS13 Payal Pratap

WIFW SS13 Geisha Designs

WIFW SS13 Anand Kabra

WTFashion Outfit of the Day:
Geisha Designs– lace strands hang down from certain body parts- not sure if this is a curtain, lamp shade or an outfit. Let’s call it the Mystery of the Hanging Lace?

WIFW SS13 Geisha Designs

Bollywood Fashion: Sabyasachi dresses Sridevi as typical shypical housewife in English Vinglish

Bollywood Fashion: Sabyasachi dresses Sridevi as typical shypical housewife in English Vinglish

English Vinglish is among the most heartwarming movies I’ve seen recently and Sridevi’s performance was real, moving and tear-inducing. And the lucky leading lady has had the chance to wear Sabyaschi Mukherjee on-screen for the first time. (He wasn’t The Big Thing during her heydays).

As Shashi Godbole, Sridevi’s costumes are apt, true to the character and take her through the most exciting journey in her life. The clothes bind Shashi and set her free, they blend her into the crowd and make her stand out.

Sridevi in English Vinglish

Sridevi’s Look

Shashi Godbole is a typical Maharashtrian housewife- she puts family before self, loves making laddoos and has simple tastes. Sabyasachi and Gauri Shinde (the director) have underplayed the clothes in the movie, but if you’re an avid fashion buff, you’ll see the fashion arc as the story progresses.

Shashi Godbole is not a fashion follower nor is she ostentatious, so you won’t see her in sequins (not even on the wedding day) or low-cut blouses. On a typical day, she prefers cotton saris with a border and Indian hand-woven motifs or prints. Her colours are carefully chosen Indian palette: blues, greens, pinks, maroons. No Yashraj-style shaded saris or flowing georgettes- she is about sensible dressing, not sensuality. Hence the hanky curled in her hand at all times, and the long choti (plait).

Sridevi in English Vinglish

In bed, she wears light cotton saris (like the one below)- mostly white ones with small prints. I remember seeing my grandmom wearing those kind of saris almost everyday, they kept her cool in hot and humid Mumbai and seemed to be easy to drape.

Sridevi in English Vinglish

Sridevi in New York

Once in the US, Sridevi begins to experiment a bit. It’s her way of looking good in a big city where she is an obvious misfit because of her clothes and language problems. Some interesting pieces from the NYC wardrobe:

· Tiny Indian-style checkered saris with contrast borders (one sari has multiple borders)

· Bolder colours and prints for the days she’s happy (I spotted a couple of Sabyaschi’s standard prints- like this one below).

Sridevi in English Vinglish

· Playing with textures- a single sari has a hand-spun cotton pallu and pleats with a lighter hued body that could be in cotton silk.

Sridevi in English Vinglish

Sridevi imitates Elizabeth Taylor

The trench-coat-over-sari picture that you’ve probably seen in the publicity stills is the only style statement in the film with a story behind it. While shopping in India, Sridevi tries on a trench coat at a mall, only to be mocked at by her husband. In New York, she watches The Last Time I saw Paris in which the elegant Elizabeth Taylor wears a trench coat. Out steps Shashi, wearing a trench coat, in the peak of summer, right under the blazing sun. It’s a liberating moment for Shashi, and if you’ve ever been told what not to wear by someone, you will know exactly what it feels like.

Sridevi’s accessories

In true Maharashtrian style, Shashi dons minimal jewellery, wearing what most married Indian women wear- mangalsutra, thin gold bangles, gold baalis and tiny studs. Sometimes there’s a thin black watch, and of course there’s a bindi.

Shashi’s handbags are Hidesign’s Estelle and Arno- functional as multi-purpose bags to store a dozen things, including some stationery for English class. 🙂

Sridevi with the Estelle bag

Chic Guide: Top 5 things to do this week (Sep 24-30)

Chic Guide: Top 5 things to do this week (Sep 24-30)

Indulge in a “precious” bag

Each piece in Hidesign’s Blossom Collection by Alberto Ciaschini takes more than 30 hours to create, and the delicate ‘flower buds’ are embedded with Swarovski crystals. With only 60 pieces available of each design, this is luxurious craftsmanship at its best. If you’d like to indulge some more, check out Audelade’s bags of handcrafted and hand-woven fabric made of gold / silver in combination with finest quality natural leather.

Below: Blossom Collection from Hidesign, bag from Audelade

Hidesign Blossom evening bag_black

 

Audelade BA00006 INR 202000 - Copy

Blossom Collection available at select Hidesign stores across India. Prices Rs 12,500 (clutch), Rs 18,500 (evening bag). Audelade available at Skyzone, Phoenix Mills, Mumbai. Prices start at approximately Rs 25,000 for clutches.

Cheer in style

Skip the team jersey this T20 World Cup, and opt for more stylish clothes to show your support for your favourite team. Check out Sher Singh’s country polos that “represent” India, Australia, South Africa, West Indies and other T20 teams. And then there is FreeCultur’s T20 range of crew neck cricket-centric tees. While these tees are designed for cricket-loving men, I don’t see why women can’t wear them too!

Below: Regular fit India Polo in Nawab Blue from SherSingh.com, Tshirt from Freecultr.com

The Regular Fit India Polo in Nawab Blue INR 1399

Freecultr-cricket tee

Available at SherSingh.com (Rs 799 onwards) and Freecultr.com (Rs 599 onwards).

Get updated

Here’s the latest news from the fashion and shopping world:

Furla’s first India store is now open at Palladium, Mumbai. It’s got brightly coloured bags, clutches and wallets in its launch collection.

Accessories brand Stuart Weitzman will soon be in India through a long-term franchise agreement with Reliance Brands. The India launch will be early next year with stores in Delhi and Mumbai. The price range is expected to be Rs.25,000-Rs.75,000.

Stuart Weitzman RESERVE_DPS

Also, Myntra now sells saris from a dozen brands like FabIndia, Satya Paul and Satyavee Designs.

And Amit Aggarwal now makes has saris too- under his eponymous label (available at Ensemble). Expect his expertise in fluid drapery in his saris too.

Amit Aggarwal sari

Doll up your eyes

Highlight your gorgeous Indian eyes with some interesting products- Lakmé Eyeconic kaljal and curling mascara. The Eyeconic Kajal claims to last 10 hours, while Eyeconic Curling Mascara comes with a curling brush for defined lashes. The more interesting mascara is from Maybelline New York- it’s called the The Falsies Mascara which hopes to give a false-mascara look with more visible and fuller lashes.

Below: Lakme Eyeconic kajal and mascara, Maybelline New York Falsies Mascara

Lakme Eyeconic Range    Falsies V E_Product

Available at leading department stores across the country. Prices: Lakmé Eyeconic kajal Rs. 199, Lakmé Eyeconic mascara Rs. 250, Maybelline New York Falsies Mascara Rs 425.

Discard old season styles

I’m bored of the overtly feminine look of spring/ summer 2012. So pack up the girly prints, pastel blouses, pleated skirts and pussybow blouses. The new fashion season is here- enjoy it!

Why Powder Room is a candid recount of Indian fashion

Why Powder Room is a candid recount of Indian fashion

Last year at the exhibits area of Lakme Fashion Week, I had a long talk with an upcoming designer from Kolkata. There weren’t too many people around and he was in a chatty mood so we ended up talking about things beyond the fashion shows. Among other things, he recalled his first fashion week party, when someone turned to him and asked, “Who are you wearing?” “They are so fake, and they love name-dropping,” he grinned. Just then, a designer friend dropped by, and both started making jokes about the appalling amount of bling they’d seen at the ongoing fashion week shows.

This kind of candour is unheard-of in the fashion industry, and this is the barrier Shefalee Vasudev has tried to break through in her first book Powder Room. In the book, the ex-Marie Claire editor explores the underbelly of Indian fashion, attempting to demystify the “beautiful” industry and focus on the fashion professionals’ not-so-glam life. In the process, she also comments on Indian society, its aspirations and the value attached to labels (high fashion brands and Bollywood icons).

Powder Room

Benarsis, Bling and Bollywood

Powder Room takes us on a journey across the fashion industry through a series of stories shared by fashion insiders. For instance, Tarun Tahiliani speaks about brides’ tantrums and bling, an aspiring model says she is willing to jump on the casting couch, and a family of Patola weavers shun Bollywood stars.

Yes, the Patola makes an appearance too- one of the several traditional weaves that’s dying slowly. There are only a few who understand the need to revive region-specific textiles even as boundaries disappear. So you can get a kanjeevaram sari that’s not made in that town, or Maharashtrian paithani that’s made in Varanasi. I’m not sure how many fashionistas would want to own any of these.

Shefalee has travelled across India while writing the book, meeting people and reporting their stories and experiences. A journalist to the core, her reportage is carefully worded to let the reader decide on what they feel about the spendthrift Ludhiana Ladies and the small-town ladies tailors “copy” big designers.

Crafts and Commercials

However, you do feel the indignation as she reports on a family of Patola weavers who struggle to keep the craft alive, even as they shun Bollywood stars and “commercial” versions of their products. The indignation turns to amusement as she writes about the “editorial support” luxury brands offered to Marie Claire.

The contrasts that exist in Indian society often creep their way into the narrative. The monthly salary of the ambitious sales assistant at Emporio Mall cannot buy her more than a belt at the store. Meanwhile, the rich seek out designer wares, and middle class women want Zara copies and “Katrina blouses”. I remember seeing Preity Zinta’s “Veer Zaara suits” at the local fabric stores and Mangaldas Market. And Vidya Balan’s saris are everywhere already.

As part of my experience working at a fashion brand, I’ve learnt that almost everything in fashion magazines is up for sale. All you got to do is the fill in the cheque with the right numbers. And if you read extensively on fashion, you’ll know how a writer “loves” this designer’s collection, and already has that brand’s dress on her “wishlist”. Shefalee calls for fashion writing to be part of mainstream journalism- backed by facts and investigative reporting rather than just gush pieces. After a famous Bollywood-cum-bridal designer’s fashion show, a journalist muttered, “That was ghastly!” But of course, that would never get reported, not even in the mildest form of real fashion criticism.

What should you do with Powder Room? Depends on who you are- if you’re part of the fashion industry or want to be, then read it. And if you’re not part of the industry and never want to be, you should read it. Fashion is, after all, a business like any other.

Powder Room by Shefalee Vasudev is available at leading booksellers and online stores.

LFW W/F 2012: Embellishments on ethnic wear

LFW W/F 2012: Embellishments on ethnic wear

Pallavi Jaikishan

Loved her trademark rosettes, flowers and crystal embellishments.

Pallavi Jaikishan at LFW W/F 2012

Pallavi Jaikishan sari at LFW W/F 2012

Bhairavi Jaikishan

Resham work done only on net!

Bhairavi Jaikishan show at LFW W/F 2012

Shyamal & Bhumika

Opulent zardosi embroidery for men gives a rich look.

Shyamal Bhumika at LFW W/F 2012

Debarun

Blue and crimson thread embroidery on beige and black.

Model in Debarun LFW W/F 2012

Model in Debaruns colleciton 8

 

PS- Happy Independence Day!

LFW W/F 2012 Preview: Archana Kochhar

LFW W/F 2012 Preview: Archana Kochhar

Collection theme: Retro

What to expect: Geometric printed cocktail saris, playful tunics, fluid dresses and gowns. I’m liking the idea of a chessboard print on an embellished gown (see below). Maybe gowns will be fun after this.

Archana Kochhar LFW W/F 2012 preview

Archana Kochhar LFW W/F 2012 preview

Key trends:

  • Geometric shapes
  • Colour blocking of bright hues like electric blue, bright yellow and shades of green offset against the tints of black, white and grey.
  • Retro-inspired prints (from the 1970s and 80s)

Watch out for: The Indian alphabet as embellishments- a very desi twist!

Chic or Eeks? Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla at Cannes

Chic or Eeks? Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla at Cannes

Dear Mommy Aishwarya,

I’m happy you haven’t bowed down to the pressure of losing your post-pregnancy weight immediately after birth.

Aishwarya Rai Bachhan Cannes 2012

So while you can’t carry off a body-hugging evening gown (or more importantly, the snobbish designers won’t have samples in your size), at least choose an outfit that’s stylish and flatters you.

The gold work on this Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla outfit is a bit too jarring for me and the genteel folk at Cannes. You could have done with a lighter blouse  for instance.

Or how about trying on a looser silhouette- there are so many flattering designer dresses for heavier and curvier women. The A-line is always flattering.

Also, how can you wear an Indian  outfit and leave your ears bare? Earrings are the one accessory that pull an Indian ensemble together.

BTW, the makeup is gorgeous! Loved the eyes.

What do you think of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s ensemble at Cannes 2012?

Chic Report: Know Your Sarees workshop at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Chic Report: Know Your Sarees workshop at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Some say the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon is by taking a nap after a satisfying meal (I agree!). But I spent yesterday afternoon much more fruitfully at a workshop at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai—Know your Sarees (I prefer saris).

Kala Ghoda sari workshop with Bela Shanghavi

Conducted by Bela Shanghavi, it was an intense and engrossing discussion-cum-interaction on understanding saris better—how they are made, the technology used, the skills of the weaver and what to look for when buying one. Bela had brought along several saris as examples which helped me understand her points a lot better.

Starting from the basics (the warp and the weft), Bela began her explanation of saris with a brief on the various stages in the making of a typical Indian sari- yarn, pre-loom, on loom and post-loom. Then she delved into each stage, explaining what kind of saris and fabrics were made through work done during that stage. For instance, at the yarn stage, certain design elements like colours and textures can be introduced.

Kala Ghoda sari workshop with Bela Shanghavi

Some interesting things I learnt at the workshop:

  • Brocades like jamewars, Banarsis, pacholi, kanjeevaram and Balucharis are created in the “on loom” stage.
  • The weavers require a high degree of precision to make saris that have a “corner” and a border.
  • Printing, tinting, dyeing, embroidery, bandhini, hand painting happens in the post-loom stage.
  • While each region has its own type of sari-making technique, boundaries are now getting blurred.
  • A region or state’s culture and natural landscape has defined its fabrics, saris (and therefore fashion sensibilities). For instance, Rajasthan with its desert landscape is rich in coloured fabrics and garments. But in Bengal, the colours of choice are typically a simple white and red.
  • You can mix various textile technologies for a fabulously modern sari!
  • Kala Ghoda sari workshop with Bela Shanghavi
  • Even local mannerisms, etiquette and culture reflects in the textile language of the region. For instance, Gujarati fabrics have “plump” paisleys (they talk loud and to the point), while Kashmirs paisleys are delicate and complex (they communicate their point in a roundabout manner).
  • Saris and fabrics can be therapeutic! Our ancient Indian customs of wearing clothes with certain natural dyes and fabrics has a very scientific basis to it. For instance, the natural indigo dye repels bacteria and certain diseases, while vermilion boosts blood circulation.
  • The fabrics you see the royals wearing in Mughal paintings are not brocades but “ashawar”, which differs from brocade in the fall and feel.
  • Sari making is akin to the idea of the pixels on a computer screen, and Indian artisans and weavers understood this concept Indians as early as the third century!
  • With shifting boundaries you can now get a Paithani sari made in Benares (really!), and a Kanjeevaram with north Indian motifs.

Other than this, I learnt about the concept of “repeats” in a sari, the beauty and cultural significance of the Patola sari and how to identify certain types of saris such as jamewars.

Kala Ghoda sari workshop with Bela Shanghavi

Bela’s discussion was interspersed with several historical and geographical references which have shaped our sari tradition today. I’m already curious to know more about Indian fabrics, textiles and hope to explore our culture deeper.

I came back enlightened this Sunday afternoon, with some useful and interesting insights into Indian fashion! Now how many can say that about a Sunday? 🙂

Kate Beckinsale wears corset in Underworld Awakening, so how about trying a bustier?

Kate Beckinsale wears corset in Underworld Awakening, so how about trying a bustier?

If you’ve watched Underworld Awakening over the weekend, you couldn’t have missed the super-fit Kate Beckinsale dressed in an all-leather outfit and, most importantly, her leather corset.

DF-04522_r

It seems that Kate Beckinsale was more concerned about fitting into the leather corset than the daredevil stunts and the heavy-duty action scenes. Not surprising, considering that the first Underworld movie was shot almost a decade ago.

Nevertheless, if you think Kate Beckinsale looks sexy in this (I certainly do), there’s an easy way to get the corseted look without time-travelling to the Victorian era or holding your breath.

Say hello to the bustier!

La Senza pink bustier

Ok, not this bustier (from La Senza), but the ones I’ve written about below. Read on…

Why a bustier?

Sure, bustiers are usually associated with lingerie (they give the woman a higher bust line and a shapely waist), but as innerwear transformed into outerwear over the past few seasons, bustiers had a coming out of sorts (pun intended).

Bustier v/s corset

So what’s the difference between a bustier and a corset? For one, a bustier lacks the lacing and “boning” of a typical corset (they give shape to the wearer). Secondly, a bustier usually ends at the ribs or waist, while a corset can be of varying lengths.

If you want to wear a bustier to get a more defined torso, take your pick from the options below.

Bustier as a dress

Bustier dresses can be fitted or A-line, long or short.

Below: Denim bustier dress, Sabrina bustier bandage dress both from Forever New; Winter Love strapless dress from French Connection, gown from Jatin Varma (LFW W/F 2011)

Forevernew Cannes Denim bustier dressForevernew Sabrina Bustier Bandage DressFrench Connection Winter Love Strapless dress Jatin Varma LFW WF 2011 bustier2

Bustier as a top

I spotted a number of bustier tops at Bebe recently, and they looked absolutely fab! They ranged from sporty to sexy, and the satin ones were especially attractive. 🙂

Below: Space dye bustier top, Embellished pleated bustier, heart-shaped satin bustier, all from Bebe.

Bebe space-dye bustier pink Bebe embellished pleated bustier

Bebe heart shaped satin bustier

Bustier as a camisole or Indian-style blouse

Wear a bustier as a camisole under a sheer blouse, shirt or jacket. Or wear a bustier as a blouse with your sari or lehenga this wedding season.

Below: Lace bustier camisole from Forever New, look from Satya Paul LFW S/R 2011

Forevernew bustier cami

Satya Paul SR 2011 bustier

 

Bustier warning!

Wearing a bustier as outerwear is not easy, especially in India- it takes guts and a good figure. 🙂 So here are a couple of tips when you’re buying or wearing one.

A garment can only enhance what you already have—being in shape really helps. And not all bustier garments give good support. So be careful what you choose.

Innerwear matters: A bustier top or dress may require additional support from within especially if you’re a curvy girl. So shop for the right lingerie to look shapely and smart in your bustier.

Cover up: Bare shoulders and plunging neckline are not exactly appropriate or acceptable street wear in India. So wear a matching shrug or jacket over your bustier when you’re out, which you could take off when you’re indoors at a party or dinner.

Accessorise right: There’s nothing cooler than a long necklace to go with a bustier top or dress. Very flattering if you got the right curves!

Below: Feather charm necklace from Toniq

Feather- Charm Necklace - Copy

Are you ready to wear a bustier?